Twitter rolls out age verification for “adult” brands

coors age verification

Mentioned by Techcrunch this week, Twitter and Buddy Media have partnered to develop an age verification tool that will allow brands to screen out users that are too young. For instance, the first time that a user under the age of twenty-one attempts to follow the Coors Light Twitter page, they will be send a direct message through Twitter with a link to an age verification page. Once the user enters the day, month and year of their birthday as well as agree to another privacy policy, they will be able to follow the brand if they are over the age limit. After the age is submitted, Twitter will be able to use that for future verification as well. In other words, the user won’t be promoted with the same age verification process over and over each time they want to follow an “adult” brand.

Buddy Media Age VerificationIf a Twitter user makes a mistake on the entry form and sets the year under the age limit, they won’t be able to correct the mistake right away. According to Twitter, the user is barred from altering their age for an “undisclosed amount of time.” According to Twitter’s head of product marking Guy Yalif, he stated “We are trusting users to input their valid birth date. We have no plans to self identify their valid birthdate or cross reference this with third-party data.”

Similar to age gates on video game trailers, there’s nothing stopping a user from lying about their age in order to follow a Twitter page meant for an adult audience. It’s unlikely that age gates are effective in detouring younger users, but brands like alcohol companies are covered legally since the user agrees to the privacy policy that stipulates the age entered into the age gate is completely accurate. This also doesn’t effect the existing followers of adult brands either. People that are already followers don’t have to go through the age verification process.

Facebook age limitsAlternatively, Facebook is more stringent with underage users as the site requires an age to be entered when setting up a profile. This allows Facebook to filter advertisements of adult products from begin displayed to minors. In addition, Facebook page admins can set an age restriction. Specific to alcohol companies, page admins can categorize the page as “alcohol-related” in order to weed out users according to the drinking age limits in each country. For instance, if a person over twenty-one was a fan of Heineken on Facebook, friends of that person that are under the drinking age won’t be able to see that relationship.

Buddy Media has been testing the new age verification tool with alcohol brands such as Brown Forman’s Jack Daniels and Jim Beam’s Skinny Girl as well as MillerCoors’ Coors Light and Miller Lite. However, the tool is now available to the public and other brands can use it to block access. In addition to alcohol companies, the pornography industry, gambling organizations and pharmaceutical companies could also start using the age verification tool to protect themselves legally while increasing their advertising budget on Twitter.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The design still says retro, but Fujifilm's X-T3 is all about the future

If the X-T2 brought Fujifilm into the modern era, the X-T3 is focused on the future. With a new sensor and processor, completely revamped autofocus, and vastly upgraded video, it's the new APS-C camera to beat.

Your ‘Do Not Track’ tool might be helping websites track you, study says

New research from the "Do Not Track" features embedded in popular browsers are being ignored, opening up the possibility of consumers having their information targeted by specific ads based on their web histories and cookies. 

Get caught up on all things 'Fallout 76,' including when the beta starts

Bethesda's Fallout 76 takes the open world series in a new direction. With an emphasis on co-op, survival, and rebuilding a broken world, Fallout 76 will be the largest and most challenging game in the franchise yet.
Social Media

Snap a photo to follow a new friend on Instagram with its Nametags tool

Skip the typing and search bar -- Instagram now allows you to add friends using the in-app camera. Nametags are scannable graphics that will lead straight to your Instagram profile.

Facebook’s latest data breach could earn Europeans thousands in compensation

Facebook users in Europe distressed about Facebook's revelation that its latest breach left as many as 50 million users exposed could get some compensation. Facebook also faces a class-action suit and a broader GDPR investigation.

Voice commands could be coming to Facebook Messenger

Thanks to digital assistants, voice controls are becoming commonplace. One day, we may even be using them in Facebook Messenger. The company has confirmed that it is currently conducting internal tests for Messenger voice commands.

Find love with the best LGBT dating apps for iOS and Android

If you're looking to meet someone new, look no further than your phone. Whether it's just a date, or you're looking for something a little more serious, here are the best LGBT dating apps available for Android and iOS.
Smart Home

Creepy or convenient? Facebook’s new Portal smart display follows you around the room

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Amazon Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls between FB friends. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you…

2018's 10 best dating apps to help you find the perfect companion

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.

Google to shut down Google+ after exposure of 500,000 users’ data

After Facebook revealed that 50 million users may have been exposed as a result of a security vulnerability, Google announced it discovered a bug that left 500,000 Google+ users exposed. It will also shut down Google+.
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.
Social Media

These are the best ways to make an animated GIF

Love sharing GIFs with your friends and peers, but wish you could make your own? Here's how to do so in Photoshop, or using a few other methods that don't require you to shell out a premium fee with each calendar year.
Social Media

Instagram says its A.I. can track down bullying in photos

Instagram is turning to artificial intelligence to help it root out bullying on its platform. Following similar efforts to target bullying in comments, the company now has systems capable of detecting bullying in photos, too.